Aug 01 2013

#FirstOnTheFirst: Pickled Peaches

When you think of pickles, you probably envision spears or slices, sweet little gherkins or spicy chips, but almost always cucumber. Did you know there is a world of possibilities just waiting for you to explore outside of the humble little cuke? Were you aware that other fruits can be pickled, too? Well, now you are!

pickled peaches

The best part about quick pickles like these is that you don’t have to worry about the process of canning. This is small batch stuff, best eaten within a week or two, so you don’t need to go crazy. There’s a freshness that remains in each bite, balanced by the sourness of the vinegar you use. And you’ll be able to toss this together in no time, even after work on a weekday between making dinner and getting the kids into bed. Easy peasy!

pickled peaches

How you use them is up to you. I have my sights on a shortcake topped with pickled peaches and some voluminous freshly-whipped cream. Not your style? How about with some grilled pork tenderloin? On a burger topped with Kerrygold cheese? In a salad with bitter greens like arugula? With goat cheese on crostini? (Now I’m hungry!) No matter how you serve them, you will love these jazzy little slices of heaven. And you’ll wonder how you got by without eating pickled peaches before!

pickled peaches

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pickled Peaches
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pickles
Serves: 3 pints
  • 2-2½ pounds (approximately) yellow and white peaches
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 4½ cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups organic sugar
  1. Boil 3 pint jars and lids to sterilize them. Keep them in the hot water until ready to use.
  2. Wash, peel, and slice the peaches. Remove jars from the pot of water and distribute the peaches among them.
  3. Seed and de-vein the jalapeno, then chop it and divide that among the jars.
  4. To each jar, add ½ cinnamon stick, 1 whole clove, and 1 sprig thyme. Set aside.
  5. In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine the remaining cinnamon sticks, cloves, thyme, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure all the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Divide the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and thyme among the jars, then ladle the remaining mixture evenly between the jars.
  7. Stir, wipe off the rims with a moistened clean cloth, and affix the lids, tightening down the bands finger tight (not so tight you can't get them off).
  8. Let the jars sit on a towel on the counter for a couple of hours to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld before consuming.
  9. Use within 3 weeks, to be safe.
Wear a latex glove (or plastic bag, even) on your hand when handling the jalapeno to prevent transferring the hot oils to your eyes later and burning them. Trust me.

pickled peaches

Next month for First on the First, Kate and I will be making Gâteau Basque, which is a traditional cake from the Basque region of France. Got cherries? Then this is the cake for you! If you’re interested in joining us, check out the First on the First tab above for more information.

Who has a craving for pickles?

Let’s see what the other First on the First participants made this month!

About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.


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  1. Jenny

    Carrie, I had never thought of pickling peaches! My goodness these look so yummy! I can’t wait for the farm market this weekend to grab extra peaches and try it out! Pickling is very new to me, but I am enjoying it! Thanks for the recipe and the challenge! :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I’d love to hear what you think of it! Non-traditional pickles are a new idea to me, but I really like the way the flavors all work together to create something surprising and new.

  2. Alyssa D. {Suitcases & Sweets}

    We may have both pickled peaches, but I like how you went for the savory and I went for the sweet! Great ideas for quick appetizers and beautiful photography. Well done!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! Totally a great minds think alike moment, eh? ;) Perfect example of how you can think of the same thing but have it go off in two totally different directions.

  3. Jane's Adventures in Dinner

    Yes please! These look totally amazing!

  4. Kate | Food Babbles

    Love! Love! LOOOOOVE! That you pickled peaches! I went with traditional dill pickles because my family eats them like they’re going out of style so I wanted to give them a homemade batch but I had plans to do a second pickling project and it was going to be peaches. Great minds ;) These sound fantastic and now before the peaches of the season are all gone, I must make these. Lovely!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Funny because I really intended to make regular ole dill pickles, but I had peaches on hand, so I went with those. Still need to make my dill pickles!

  5. Anna (Hidden Ponies)

    Love the idea of using these on crostini – brilliant! These are so pretty.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Thank you! The white peaches definitely look a little prettier, with their gradations of pink to white, but it works great for any kind.

  6. Melissa

    I bet the flavor combination of sweet, tart, and spice really make these peaches taste amazing! And I love all of the suggestions you gave for eating theses amazing peaches…my mouth is watering! :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Can’t throw something off the wall at you and not at least give you some ideas on how to use it! ;) It seems like a crazy combo at first, but it’s really quite pleasant.

  7. Donna @ What the Dog Ate

    Yum! That reminds me of mango chutney.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      I bet if you chopped up the peaches, you could serve it in a similar fashion. Mmmm!

  8. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    I need to do this. The sweetness of the fruit and the tartness of the pickle and then putting it on bread with a soft cheese… oooomg. Heaven.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      It’s the perfect way to balance out sweet peaches! Let me know what you think!

  9. Sami {Poor & Pretty}

    Pickled peaches? Whaaaat? I’d never heard of those before, but they sound incredible! Just curious, though: how spicy do they end up being? I only like jalapenos in very small doses, but I love my peaches to be super sweet. But I definitely trust you to be a better cook than I am! :)

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      They’re not really spicy from the jalapenos–more of a bite from the cinnamon, IMHO, than the jalapenos. Definitely helps if you pair them with something that balances it out, like cream cheese, mascarpone, etc.

  10. Caitlin

    ooo yes yes yes! the most interesting peaches i’ve ever consumed were filled with bourbon haha from sitting in a bourbon infusion. these may be the second most interesting i’ve ever seen ;)

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